Self-made solitude stalker

Nowadays, this tumblog is becoming like an online scrapbook project of mine. Mostly where I stuff.. stuff that I like, or did. Or watched, or read. Basically its my online therapy sessions.
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I aim to post at least one post a day.

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Hi ~hugs-shii!

(lol sorry can’t help it.. your ~ hug hug hug end note is so cute.. at first I thought its your nickname ;p )

First! I would like to extend my apology for this very belated response, mianhe (._.) Was pretty caught up with work the past week. I wrote a response yesterday morning and I had more to write but when I looked at the clock - I was soo late for work! Darn end of month and start of month workloads, made me mentally exhausted. But I just found out that BEAST had a new choreo without Prepix crew, and oh they won MCD! :D

Oh sorry I deviated a bit. Hmm.. perhaps to satiate your digital performance curiousity, I should invite myboyRobin from Soompi to get her opinion on this, since she’s much more well verse in BEAST digital performances and I usually look up to her insights on them, whilst I’m just doing best guestimate from looking at the trendings, so my views are usually lacking. But generally, the rule of thumb I learned from these digital gurus is that to get a good feel of a digital performance, we usually take the first 4 weeks or these days, 8 weeks more chart trendings and accumulative digital points before we can hail or diss out the song’s digital performance. They usually check out half yearly or yearly trending to claim whats good and whats not. Another rule of thumb is we need to consider the explosive and longevity factor of a hit song. 

With this in mind, i.e. based on previous years’ comebacks, BEAST is/was considered mediocre or just above average digital performer, where they usually perks up after they officially started their promotion period, like IABN. One another side, they are also considered having longevity factor weighting more in their favour. Now note that BEAST is not only competing with other idols, but also other singers from those publicly adored ones to the strong k-indie / underground names, not to mention the digital power of girl groups of which usually k-public prefers on the long run. And late spring / beginning of summer is usually the time these people releases new stuff or make their big comebacks hence you see the July / August rush. Compared to girl groups, male idol groups are considered weak digital performers although male groups are more powerful than girl groups with physical charting due to more invested fandoms buying CDs for keepsake etc., so it is considered a good rating for BEAST, as since F&F, they are considered one of the small handful male idol groups which can ‘kill’ digital charting (the other two which I can think of now are Big Bang and 2AM) as well as having a strong fanbase for physical charting trending :)

Personally, what I think about Shadow's digital performance so far is fairly optimistic ^^.b  I still have the same sentiment about overall HTLHTL album when I first talked about it with Moshi before its release, that while this is really, really meaningful, not only to BEAST but to us supporters, HTLHTL may have a different kind of impact than Fiction & Fact, or even Midnight Sun, so I was actually excited for the results which are not the norm for kpop idols. They did managed to break the molds, at least to me, I see them improving from their previous achievements. Charting is always a phase, but getting to another level of recognition and having a longer, and more lasting positive hold in people’s opinions is another more solid gain. New respect for idols in their singing from k-netizens are becoming a more acceptable norm these days, and I think BEAST helped nudged the opinions there with this comeback (lots of people rave about YHY’s Sketchbook performances!). They’re one of the major catalyst that breaks idol’s negative perceptions, as they have done so in the past. So because of that, somehow I became more laidback with the charting this time around and didn’t actually get snapshots of the progress update - I’m more interested on the public and social impact they have. Ahaha Caffeine was the oddball because it was my first active chart watching and it was fun! Though frankly speaking, it is still an exciting experience whenever I check the chart for Shadow ^^.

So far BEAST is still holding the fort in digital performance. There’s a lot of awesome or catchy releases recently and BEAST still managed to be on Top 10 on Instiz real-time iChart since Shadow's release. Even if they drop in the ranking, the underlying trending shows that they don't drop too much, they have a constant almost linear continuation, just that new songs caught people's attention. Usually, when new songs comes in, the current ones goes down both in rank and in points, so I'm thinking that while people enjoy new more catchy and fancy songs, they still hold BEAST close. This is what I refer to as longevity factor.

Here’s what it look like yesterday, 1st Aug at Instiz iChart real-time trending at 9:30am KST, Shadow is at #7..

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And here’s today, 2nd Aug Instiz iChart real-time trending at 8:30am KST, Shadow climbed back at #7 after moving down bit by bit to #10 (the lowest so far) at night when people are generally sleeping.

image

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I’m having faith in longevity, because BEAST song is usually a grower, and like BEAST themselves, they’ve, more often than not, got the 2nd-time the charm hook factor for those critical first listeners, as BEAST usually caught their interest again after they started to perform the song. (Kind of like BEAST members when they’ve been given a second chance to debut as BEAST, no..?). Also, after overcoming the first barrier, their songs are also usually easy to listen on repeat.

What I see an improvement this year in digital performance was that BEAST has more explosive power as compared to previous year’s releases, so this made me happy. You can see the inclination of the first half of the day getting sharper for every releases, from Caffeine, to WYBA, to Shadow, they tend to shoot up faster, sharper and usually these attributed to not only fans, but it shows that BEAST has the attention of public and casual listeners too - the trending shows me that more and more people look forward to each BEAST releases.

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As for voting and getting awards.. I guess a lot of sentiments flying around that I think I should take a rain check to comment on that.  But if you noticed, most of the more established, and credible k-artists whom are highly regarded by the public with their quality, rarely wins in these music broadcast too. Even Shinhwa finally received their very well and much deserved accolades with This Love after long years without music broadcast wins. Thinking in this perspective makes me smile.. because while people think BEAST moved backward, I think that BEAST is moving to the right direction. There’s a ledge in their path, yes, but instead of going down, or jumping over for a quicker route to their destination, they carefully scale a new path and while doing so, gave me, as a listener, a newer, and wider berth of view of their journey appreciation. I like that experience they’ve gave me so far with this comeback.

^^.b

~ triple hugs you back! ~

Point forms..

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  • Thanks to myboyRobin, I am now familiar with the images of Dia de Los Muertos body paint.
  • Next time Cube, can we have other than Yoseob’s teaser? Like, snippet from Gikwang’s part or something?
  • Or rather, instead of individual image stills of each members, next time we will have individual audio snippet teasers of each members.
  • But Doojoon’s bit is a bit fresh to hear in teasers, me thinks. Just that.. it is BEAST’s Engrish again, ahaha.. 
  • ..eh, hmm.
  • The visuals are generally interesting.
  • The feels are.. general too.
  • That means.. I still have no specific attention to it.. yet. Because,
  • on my 3rd or was it 4th watch, the whole video went blank and black, but the audio played on.
  • And I was a bit take aback.
  • Because without the visual, it jarred my attention to the forced audio focused teaser without me getting ready for this flood of audio sensory.
  • And made me go,
  • *ooffmm* (sucker-punched)
  • hey. 
  • BEAST. 
  • you guys.
  • not fair.
  • BEAST music feels hitting me like that, when I am totally not prepared. When I’m already prepared for BEAST. And that feels unexpected hit me.
  • gah. How do I explain the feels?
  • you know, chicken and egg. Then suddenly in between, bam! Egad! There’s yolk!
  • Totally unexpected. Yet totally, and naturally, part of the cycle of chicken and egg.
  • And made me purposely click the replay button to be, BEAST punched again. Audio-ly, if that’s possible (is that even a word).
  • It’s not really the vocals that punched me like that.
  • Instead, its the overall music feels.. Hmm.
  • And then my ISP decided to box my ears.
  • By refusing to let me go online even after multiple tries.
  • (stupid connection)
  • So now, let me go watch it again. I’d like to write something about the MV itself.
  • *goes watching it again, at the main official YT page*
  • *the need to click off the ads repeatedly is irritating me*
  • *because the ad keeps hiding miniature Seobie at the start*
  • Slow-mo falling snow, in summer. Slow-mo falling stuff. Like in Midnight.
  • It’s like falling nibble-size cotton candy though.
  • I really like how all members starts walking and coming together from all directions at 0:09s mark.
  • Junhyung’s baby squirrel cheek stare is kind of Seolchan cute.
  • Wow side profile Seung.
  • Nice body build and torso painted body suit. Ichigo Dia de Los Muertos cool.
  • Reminded me of the banters between Gikwang and Dongwoon about them checking out the mirror, scrunching their back muscles trying to make it look like a dragon monster or something. Gym talks.
  • emerghad the creepy rolling eyeball at 0:18.. o_o 
  • 1 cool point for creeping me out.
  • This Dia de Los Muertos then danced like how I’d imagine the dance of a torero maestro, a matador de toros.
  • Which made me think, MV director, Lee Gibaek, does have a feel for the feel of supernatural aspect, and aesthetic yet a bit of an eldritch visigoth in his MVs with doses of Spanish flavour. Ok, at least in two of his MVs so far which I’ve known (i.e. in Caffeine, with the faceless, black cloth masks, puppet-like dancers dancing around their puppet master who wore outlandishly pearly beaded suit which reminded me of a torero’s - a bullfighter’s suit. Caffeine MV also has a skull.).
  • And also, I noticed Lee Gibaek director-nim likes kaleidoscope effects in his recent MVs too.. like in I’m Sorry.
  • But, I really love both Caffeine and I’m Sorry MVs, its visually stunning and helped flesh the songs so aesthetically good. So I’m really looking forward to Shadow's full MV.

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Video source from http://www.youtube.com/user/beastofficial

dot. dot. dot.

  • Just finished Ghost. One awesome drama series.
  • It felt like watching a 20-hours of Blitz chess with Ruy Lopez openings - so many suspenseful variations - made me on the edge every episode from the start till the end!
  • I really like the way the plot unravelled and how the good guys and the bad guys were equally kick-ass and competent, that made them really interesting to watch.
  • Only at episode 19 did I realised that the cute reporter girl is actually the lovely sweet love interest of Yoseob’s in his Caffeine MV. Ahaha.. I fail at recognising faces.
  • ..and I regret why I took that very strong coffee for dinner.. I still am wide awake now..
  • ..dot.
  • .
  • Somehow in an unrelated thought, I felt like if I had to pick a college subject to learn again, I’d go for Random Probability class (although I don’t have the brains for it). It’d explain how everytime I am a few minutes away from my apartment, my iPod on shuffle mode would seems to always play BEAST’s Dream Girl recently. I deem this song, my welcome home song.
  • And ah.. one quarter of the year has ended. Only 3/4 left of 2013. Time flies.
  • Ahaha.. 
  • ..no April Fool-ing here. ^^.
  • Sleep.

* Moshi is back! *

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Wow, I’ve been really out of the Kpop fandom lately, so I didn’t know that the general perception has shifted this way. And that makes me sad.
I guess it’s the natural way for Idols and Kpop, for fans to shift interest and focus on other groups. And I can see why people might be a bit disinterested  because Yoseob’s Caffeine and Beast’s Midnight Sun weren’t really made for mainstream music. They’re very niche.
That being said, I love how the boys are evolving. And how their music is shifting to reflect their growth. I will always eagerly await their new releases. Because I fell in love with Beast. Just for that. Their music.
As an aside, I am in love with Black Paradise. Especially the GK-HS interchange that leads to DW. And finally YS. I wish the end and beginning wasn’t so …cluttered I guess? With other sounds
Re: Beast sounding like American music. I’m not sure I hear it? Their earlier songs are actually pretty similar to the 90’s pop. But really JYP and YG are much more “American”-sounding than Beast are. I’m not sure how to define Beast to be fair.
P.S. A few weeks ago, my sister’s boyfriend texted me asking me to recommend him some good Kpop BoyBands. I immediately replied, “BEAST” of course. And he said that yeah, Beast was one of his favorite artists and he already had a bunch of their songs and he was looking for others to listen to. It made me a bit proud, because my sister’s boyfriend is really picky.

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Moshi! I miss you! -.- I noticed you were on tumblr recently but forgive me if I didn’t drop a note to say hi and welcome back.. but Welcome Back! :D How was school and internship?

:) Maybe it’s just me, Moshi. I don’t think BEAST interest has shifted drastically, just in the eyes of some. I still believes that BEAST is a major player in Korea (if not, they won’t be in the Forbes list at all, right?). Plus their 31 ranking jump between 1 year (from #40 to #9!) was such a super high jump, so if we look in that perspective, settling down to #29 sounds like a comfortable fall for a quiet year. And oh, digitally, Caffeine is actually doing really good with the general public ^^. It’s been on top 3 spot for a number of weeks. Just that in terms of physical, while a good number, its not exactly topping much.

Yup.. love how they are evolving. Especially in their music. Actually.. in an afterthought, I wrote my previous post about we need to consider that BEAST took the time to let a bereaved member properly mourn without taking more group activities than necessary last year, hence the more solo projects to fill other member’s time. Actually I only thought of that aspect because I was thinking how healthy Hyunseung looked recently, and how he was one of the more obvious in term of maturity outlook as compared to their debut time (when he looked more like a young teen, now he looked like young adult). BEAST as a whole, evolved from debut to now in a way one would hope for a young adult to be (well, at least from my perspective :) I am content at how they turned out now).

Love GK-HS, DW and then YS parts too! ^^. I think I understand what you mean by cluttered, but that’s because I myself think that it had a tad too many rap lines (which opens and closes the song?), maybe because Junhyung initially saved the space for Doojoon but then changed it to rap line to fill the gaps? (lol am speculating here), but the ending with Yoseob’s note, bypassing all those and even bypassing the background music, is a nice touch in my opinion. :)

Ah! Yes you are right! Their earlier materials did have those 90s pop flavour, why didn’t I think of this ahahaha. And hmm.. I didn’t think about YG and JYP, and yeah, now that you’ve mentioned it, some materials which I heard from the artists of these two companies did have an American flair in it.

But your note about unable to define BEAST made me smile wide. I like that they didn’t remind you of any other genre specific. Maybe we should make a genre called BEAST :p

And your story about your sister’s boyfriend made me huff and puff and proud too, yosh! Hehehe thank you for sharing the story with us Moshi :D

I raved so much about this performance that I think I wrote a thesis about it in this post hehehe, but I am still going to vidmark it again and add more thoughts to it..

Love the fact that this cover is more of an R&B and soul remix. Even Prepix’s dance choreo for Caffeine is a ‘remix’ version, I love that. Love that the music is covered by live bands at the back. Love the fact that each of Coach Yoseob’s kids (Kim Myung Joo, Jung Eunwoo, and Noh Yoon Hwa) complemented and enhanced each other’s vocal AND performance, showing merits as a really strong and cohesive vocal unit, and yet still shine really bright during their individual delivery. Love that each of them is vocally strong in their own colours yet they didn’t overflow each other during harmonising nor there’s evidence that they wanted to show off with their adlibs either. Love that its a group performance and a 3 solo performances all in one, such a hard find treasure. Love that Coach Yoseob made this happened too.

I love this performance so much. It’s so hard to choose one winner for the final round from these three.. but I’m glad that Coach Yoseob chose the right one in the end.

Video source from http://www.youtube.com/user/Mnet

This is an amazing Caffeine live vocal performance. Yoseob sounds so steady and his singing sounds effortless, so-oo good to my ears. He pretty much owned the stage. Did I tell you that this is a live vocal performance? It’s so-oo good to my ears. I am repeatedly impressed. And B.O.B was awesome that they have edited two fancams into one, made it look more like a music broadcast performance video.

And listen to the United Cube Concert goers singing along… so nice :)

Ah..  I’m also drawn to Yoseob’s pearly beaded jacket. It weirdly reminds me of a torero (matador de toros), or in a more familiar English term, matador.

It looked better with only the jacket instead of a full suit though.. 

Video source from http://www.youtube.com/user/b2stbob

Yoseob’s Although I MV ^^. Lol the translated title song before this has so many different versions - Still I,  But For Me, Even Then I .. choose your pick, but Cube Ent uses Although I as the official English title.

But ah.. the premise of the song is the same as Caffeine. When the video started my first reaction was .. "oh no.. please don’t bring back Beatlejuice’s striped suit..” but they did.. at 1:41.. which.. from feeling trepidation, in a twist of turn it weirdly amuses me ahaha.

The 1:12 - 1:15 embrace-kissing scene looks passionately intense, d’aww.. but overall MV, the sweet interactions between the two, even the emotional arguments, and the way he didn’t stop her from leaving, feeling regret and resigned at the same time, and how the whole MV is showing some phases on how he’d be taking some time to get over her, made me feel that this is how Yoseob would treat his girlfriend in real life, if he has any. Ahaha.. when the girl hits Yoseob, for a split second I thought he looked like he enjoys being girly hit by her. Or the idea of being in relationship with her to even have that moment (that would be really cute if they were together!)

I like 2:04 up to the time when Yoseob caress the sofa, sits down, and open the diary in time with the saxophone part, maybe because its my favourite part in the song itself before the MV comes along.

Anyway.. maybe for some, the same Caffeine set may jarred them from looking this MV in a fresh perspective. I guess I was too. But nonetheless, to me its the thought that counts. Cube tends to drop gifts for fans without warning, and this unannounced MV release on Valentine’s Day was one of them. The unannounced gifts part.. that’s a sweet thought :)

Video source from http://www.youtube.com/user/beastofficial

It’s a week late but ahaha.. I’m going on discovery journey on my own pace so if my outdatedness bore you, please keep an eye close for me ^^.

Anyway, rookie soloist Hi.ni has this lil’ side project where she will be releasing new cover songs every Friday night for fans. Like YouTuber / vblogger weekly feature. Interesting approach for a debuting artist, as usually, its the other way round to reach out to the masses before being known as a public figure.

Hi.ni has beautifully covered Adele’s Love Song (originally by The Cure), and the week after that she covered Justin Bieber’s Boyfriend.

And her third cover was Yoseob’s Caffeine, which I vidmarked above ^^.

Interesting note:

  • Prior to her debuting as a solo singer, Hi.ni is an active vocal trainer for 6 years.
  • I think this is her first Korean cover in her Friday night cover releases series, and she chose Caffeine of all songs!
  • If you don’t watch the video but just put on a headset and do something else while listening to her, she sounds more amazing.
  • Really.
  • I love the chorus.. “you’re bad to me” part, and the intertwining match with the back up vocalist.
  • But wow. Caffeine.. I’m sure Hi.ni’s choice to cover this song factors in that its a song that can bridge more kpop idol fans where the market is, and at the same time with bigger exposure to public since this song was one of the more familiar to casual listeners / non-kpop idol fans. But somehow I am looking this at a perspective Hi.ni as the vocal trainer, and not Hi.ni as the rookie solo singer. That a practised vocal trainer believe its a good enough song to be covered. I’m sure there’s a lot more songs by idols which are much more public friendly and that can be covered in a whole new way that is unique to her voice (and I”m sure it will be in the next weeks to come). But for now, I feel proud of Junhyung and Taejoo for a bit when I think of this.
  • ^^

Video source from http://www.youtube.com/user/CJENMMUSIC

Oh wow look at that dip before 6am on 1st Jan ‘13.. all songs plunged down, highly likely because of the new digital price increase effective this year. Today.

It’s too early to tell how it will effect Yoseob’s Caffeine digital trending. At least at the moment he is at #4 (see the green trending line in 2nd screen cap).

But I was wrong about Caffeine in my last Instiz’s iChart post 2 weeks ago

And Caffeine had for majority part holds #3~#5 solid. Only the past couple of days it started to dwindle back to #6 (currently, Caffeine is at #5 on Instiz Weekly Chart, and #6 on Real-time chart), and I believe by tomorrow evening, it will either settled at #7 or drop from the trending list (top 7) altogether, but will still be in top #10 at least for another week.  That’s what I think but I’m new with reading these trendings so I might be totally off tangent in the next few hours even (who knows, 2-3 sleeper hit songs unexpectedly sprung about in the next few days to knock off a few songs from the top list.

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That’s a n00b comment above, the one I bolded. Yes I am the n00b who made that comment. You know what? Caffeine never dropped off the Top 7 grid since that day, and #6 was the lowest I checked and that was a quick one before resurfacing back to #3-#4. I know this because I capped the trending almost every day.

I feel smug. Smuhhgg. For Yoseob, and for Junhyung and Taejoo, and for BEAST.

At least for today. Who knows about tomorrow.

But Smuhhgg.. now. Teeheehee..

This was screen-capped from NetizenBuzz's blogspot on recent Positive Dump: Big Bang, Yoseob, SNSD where NB will translated top comments from top or requested Korean articles of the day.

Oh.. yes, uhm. Screen-capped it just because.. well, the first top comment mentioned,

”..his song is really unidol-like and nice”

..and since the second top comment says,

"His voice and lyrics are great."

.. 

…well.

..it just shows proof that its a combination of Yoseob’s delivery AND Junhyung/Taejoo production, are getting k-netizens’ nods. They just forget or didn’t know its Junhyung/Taejoo combo who build this song.

Plus, whilst they say Caffeine is unidol-like, and back then they say Caffeine and the rest sounds like BEAST songs.. does this means BEAST songs are also unidol-like too?

Now that’s not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all, in my opinion ^^.

Waaah.. purple and black contrast pairing, glossy sheen versus lusterless suede, I like their contradicting concept here for Caffeine featuring Junhyung. But haa.. was it Junhyung or Yoseob who forgot their turn / line at 0:26..?

Junhyung’s talking tone was great before the 0:26 mark, but right after that, and perhaps because being flustered by the gaping MR filled second of silence, when his voice converges with Yoseob’s during first verse, it kind of militated against a singsong way of interactive singing. It sounds more like two persons taking an oath. But I think Junhyung noticed this immediately that he quickly soften his tone afterwards before bidding Yoseob away at the end of first verse. And ha.. Yoseob is sli-ghty more aggressive in this delivery, I can hear it in his vocals. Maybe an after-effect of the slight hiccup. (which I might be reading too much into and perhaps, not even a hiccup at all but was intentionally done)

Prepix crew in white for Caffeine! I think this is a first ^^.

And Junhyung joining back the stage, looking at Yoseob sideways at the end of Caffeine, holding off a smile like a shy secret admirer yet also like a proud awkward dad, was heartwarming actually.

And BEAST performing as six with It’s A Beautiful Night! Mwahaha Kiguana made me think of very lithe, limber and supple plastic play dough with his body waves at the start. Ah.. I miss this song done by an energetic bunch of BEAST. Everyone sounds wholesome too, and Hyunseung swinging around with all his might gracefully and then an awesome twirl and catch and re-latch of his mic at 3:15 looks so professionally done, like.. one needs a proper stage mic malfunction recovery preparedness certification before they are allowed to imitate that, ahahaha! (kekeke.. magnae laughing with him at 3:26 too).

I like that slowly.. their IABN wardrobe slowly imitates their personal style in real life. Well maybe not the garish loud patterns but the sense of style that they’re presenting. Ah, what do I know about fashion hehe. But yeah.. it feels like apart from some very ..ah.. audible choice of fashion, it does feel liberatingly freestyle for BEAST members.

And I really.. really think that "PARTY PEOPLE!!" Junhyung usually shouted before the last verse should be listed in the official lyrics for IABN. It’s so-oo fitting with the song! And all the ad hoc hootings and miscellaneous whistling and such.. BEAST should be coaching some guidelines to rookies. They’re getting real good with matching the right timing with the right sets of random noises on live stage. At least that’s what I thought.

Video source from http://www.youtube.com/user/TanVuKBS2

Yoseob in Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook ^^. Ah.. but the segment was short. But ahaha, even YHY mentioned that this is the first time a BEAST member appears on the show (so please do invite them more next time ^^). I like that even members of the audiences, male or female, enjoy this too.

I still have not got tired of watching Caffeine performances, and Prepix team done really good with the choreo. And after Yoseob sang Still With You, YHY commented that when Yoseob sang the line ‘close your eyes’, the audience closed theirs too (when actually I noticed him closing his eye, immersed in the song ahaha). I like seeing that. It looks like YHY is wearing not his MC cap, but his songwriter-composer hat, and being well-known producer, seeing him commenting about Yoseob’s voice is quite exciting, I must say :)

And Junhyung was kind of on a happy pill during Thanks To ahaha.. but his rapping flow was good. And I noticed he likes to wear that pair of multi-zippers pants, no? Ehehe.

Full video source from http://www.youtube.com/user/hyunseunghips

Song clips video source from http://www.youtube.com/user/hong02ys

Translated interview segments by https://www.facebook.com/b2strising

2nd take

Ok it seems that I breached the not-so-deadline that made it look like it doesn’t matter anymore… mianhe.. ._.

Regardless… Here’s the run through on Yoseob’s The First Collage, my second take:

Tracklist
01. Look At Me Now
      composed, arranged by Junhyung & Kim Taejoo
02. 카페인 (Caffeine) 
(ft. Junhyung) 
      composed, arranged by Junhyung & Kim Taejoo
03. 하던 대로 해 (Do As You’ve Been Doing) 

      composed & arranged by Jeon Haeseong
04. 그래도 나는 (But For Me)
      composed, arranged by e.one
05. 그대는 모르죠 (You Don’t Know) 

      composed & arranged by Junhyung & Kim Taejoo

I seriously think that the track list arrangement above should be REVERSED! How good the reception can also be dependent on how good the introduction is, or how good the starting flow will be. Since one of my listening quirks is that for new albums added in my playlist, I’ll listen to the last added songs first (last one in first one up!), and since I don’t understand Korean, loosing the song-per-story-chapter-like flow on my first listen does not matter either, but really.. reversing the whole mini’s track list made such, such a big difference, to me especially! Well.. maybe to me.. only..?

So.. in the order of my listening enjoyment, here goes my thoughts:

#5. Ahaha.. anyway, like I’ve mentioned in my first review.. the last track, You Don’t Know, gave me a quick sense of common familiarity, and although it didn’t tie my attention too tightly, it somehow fits my image of Yoseob the carefree in this mini. Like a comfortable stranger, this track offers me a friendly smile and a palm-up hand to hold, and an easier ride into the world of Yang Yoseob’s first solo mini album, and along with that.. this freedom-like option for me to dwindle on it or not, because in the long run it gave me the pleasure of coming back at it again after one album playlist loop is done since its no pressure at all. :)  <— hehe.. even prompted a smiley-ticon.

#4. After the sweet carefree and undemanding welcoming wave of You Don’t Know, the fourth track Still I (aka Even Then, I, ..aka But For Me.. Ah, I just follow B2STRISING’s translated title, Still I) gave me a sense of assurance I needed from Yoseob the main vocal. In my opinion, whilst Caffeine is the strongest track, Still I is the most vocally challenging track in this mini. Okay, maybe not his personal most vocally challenging song (as compared to his other songs with BEAST like Virus, lets say). I mean, I’m sure I picked a lesser comparison (Virus sticks to my head first), but I believe Yoseob has more challenging songs outside of this mini. Ah! I digress! Ok. Back to Still I. Now, listening with earphones on and not via speakers, I can really appreciate Yoseob’s falsetto voice and its expressions build up - threading and weaving through like silky threads thru velvety suede to make a very presentable track. Plus the jazz lounge-like tune with brass section (sax represent!) helps drift Yoseob away from BEAST musically, which helps in building the foundation image of a solo for this venture. This is my second favourite track in the mini.

#3. Ok the intro beat for Do As You’ve Been Doing still made me a quiet introvert in giving my input of it. However, like someone not knowledgeable enough to say anything great, I can still give it the time of my day and listen to it until I can decide whether I like it or not. I put it under the category as representative ballad - hmm.. I’d been meaning to I say its a generic ballad, but its not exactly generic ballad though. Not exactly mainstream ballad either, but oh okay.. I take it back, maybe k-public mainstream? It gaves me the feel that an experienced but recognisable composer has a hand in this.. erm. How shall I say.. a bit leaning towards old skool rather than new sound? Maybe I was too rash to say the first track as my least favourite, but I think because of my music appreciation preferential, this track will be the underbelly of my bell curve the more I listen to the whole mini. Though I do think that it’s great that it sits in the middle in track listing arrangement; it didn’t give me an uncompromising reason to come back to it again, and yet I won’t mind passing my time listening to it while getting ready for the next track.

#2. Enough said on how much I like Caffeine. Well maybe an anecdote for this post then? The other day I was driving to work and I thought I was concentrating on the road so it felt weird why my face broke into this really prideful smile out of the blue, and then realise that on the other hemisphere of my thought process, I was thinking, as a working adult who also supervises the performance of other working adults, how amazing the potentials Junhyung have as a quality composer if he continues to work with other industry experts and never slacks to improve on it. (I admit, sometimes I have multiple complex self-talking thoughts running concurrently, I was wearing my working cap on one, self-made solitude stalker cap on the other, so its not weird not realising what I was think-talking on the other side of the brain.. okay). p/s: Caffeine came up on my iPod’s random playlist then.. and the composition of this song.. it is pretty solid for BEAST standard. It spruced up my prideful smile above.

#1. Hehe… I’ve said in previous post, that Kiguana and DongniPongni made me enjoy this track more.. but I’ve got to say, its the previous four tracks that made me go, "yayaya. yayaya. eeeii yo!" . With a big smile on my face. I know that Junhyung takes pride in this track, as it was supposed to be the title track, and I have the feeling that it has one of the most invested layering and re-mastering process amongst Junhyung’s productions in this mini, but contrary to the intended intention of grand opening, because of its hard hitting impressions which either make or break someone’s interest, Look At Me Now works best as the closure for this mini. After Caffeine, this track gave me a head bobbing, zest-jabbing tickle (literally! Even the song ended with an ‘Ouww!’  ..lol!) to make me remember that my ride will end in a good note too, and to remind me what works with the other tracks in the whole album too. 

So, that’s my second take on The First Collage

* smiles to self *

Heh.

Hmm.. can you see the tiny threadlike trending line? The size was truncated since my original upload was close to 4000px wide. Ahaha.

Anyway, the above is basically Yoseob’s Caffeine trending line in iChart since its release on 26th Nov. So that’s about 3 weeks ago. Pretty steady trending, don’t you think? I do think so, if we take into account major chart shakers in between then and now, like NELL and Jellyfish Ent’s Winter Project and others which snaked in and snapped to the top so quickly, so easily, and then calmly slithered back down.

Just to recap to myself mostly, Instiz’s iChart trending is tabulated from 9 major online charting i.e. Melon, Bugs, MNet, Cyworld, Olleh Music, Naver, Daum, Soribada, and Monkey3. In a sense, iChart trending gave us an idea of what Koreans current interest and this reaches wide to ballad, hip hop, indie, rock and even to musicians from music contestant shows. Since around mid this year, idol music is beginning to make way for soloists, so aside from strong digital sellers from k-idol worlds such as Sistar, Big Bang, you’ll see a more and more premature trending lifeline of idol music on the charting. 

Also, though iChart publicly shows the top 30 songs, the above trending chart is only available for the top 7 songs charting on real-time.

And Caffeine had for majority part holds #3~#5 solid. Only the past couple of days it started to dwindle back to #6 (currently, Caffeine is at #5 on Instiz Weekly Chart, and #6 on Real-time chart), and I believe by tomorrow evening, it will either settled at #7 or drop from the trending list (top 7) altogether, but will still be in top #10 at least for another week.  That’s what I think but I’m new with reading these trendings so I might be totally off tangent in the next few hours even (who knows, 2-3 sleeper hit songs unexpectedly sprung about in the next few days to knock off a few songs from the top list.

Anyway.. to stay on top 5 charting for the past 3 weeks is considered a decent hit, according to what I learnt from good people in Soompi. Another week and we’ll see how it fared for a month in public’s opinions, if its still on top 10, then Junhyung and Taejoo, kudos to both of them as junior composers in the industry as well as to Yoseob for bringing their work alive to the public. Longevity wise, this is looking good, cross fingers.

Ah.. I forgot. I started this post because I wanted to write my 2nd round review of The First Collage. And got distracted with this. Heh..

Somehow this radio live of Caffeine felt a bit more confidential. Like he’s secretly singing to himself, like.. honestly singing to his own self, to soothe his tired self, while under the pretense of doing a live radio show.

Maybe that’s why singer-DJ Younha and her co-DJ were enamoured by this performance, saying it has a sense of beauty to it.

Video source from http://www.youtube.com/user/yongjunnaTHREE